JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After stuffing yourself on Thanksgiving, braving the crowds for holiday shopping on Black Friday and scouring the world wide web for deals on Cyber Monday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to giving back.
Since 2012, the day has been designated as Giving Tuesday, a day to support charitable and nonprofit organizations by making donations or volunteering time.
According to givingtuesday.org, the global movement has inspired hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity.
First Coast News is sharing some of our favorite local charitable and nonprofit organizations to support year-round -- and if you're looking for a way to do some good in the community, here are just a few places you might consider.
Christ’s Starfish Foundation
Christ's Starfish Foundation works with children confined to the hospital by providing assistance to them through child life specialists and assists families of non-cancer patients who are experiencing financial hardships due to their child's illness.
FCN Anchor Lew Turner says "This organization collects donations to support families with children in hospitals on the First Coast and around the Southeast. They help families with all manner of financial burdens: utility bills, mortgage, car payments, groceries, etc. The financial hardship and mental anguish associated with having a child in the hospital, no matter the reason, is enough to deal with without having to think about paying for the light bill. These folks help with that. They also do a great ministry of bringing the children Christmas gifts while in the hospital."
If you would like to donate to Christ's Starfish Foundation, you can click here.
Feeding Northeast Florida
Feeding Northeast Florida is the region's largest nonprofit food bank and hunger relief networking, with a mission of "improving the quality of life of Northeast Florida by addressing food insecurity, poverty and poor health by providing nutritious foods and other essential goods to those in need in collaboration with community partners."
The organization provides food to people in eight counties, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns.
FCN Marketing Director Kristen Joyal says "They support more than 200 food pantries across the First Coast, they are boots on the ground and they are helping people like you and me who may be hungry for the first time in their lives as well as people who have been in need and are trying to get back on their feet again."
To make a donation, click here.
First Coast Honor Flight
First Coast Honor Flight's mission is to take veterans to visit their War Memorials in Washington D.C. This is a unique opportunity to show our gratitude to these Heroes who made it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.
FCN Anchor Lew Turner, who serves as Videographer on the group's Board of Directors, says "his serves World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans in a great opportunity to show gratitude to these heroes.
To donate, click here.
Hope at Hand
It all begins with poetry. That's the mission of Hope at Hand, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing art and poetry sessions to vulnerable and at-risk youth populations. "Using poetry, creativity, art and therapeutic approaches, we facilitate healing and personal growth for children and adolescents," the organization's website says.
FCN Anchor Keitha Nelson says, "I’ve served on the board for a local nonprofit called Hope at Hand for several years. They reach populations too often forgotten about including the elderly, disadvantaged youth, battered women, people battling substance abuse and incarcerated youth. H@H offers programs to these populations as an outlet for their stress and pain through art and poetry."
To donate money, supplies or your time, click here.
Jacksonville Children’s Chorus
Jacksonville Children's Chorus inspires excellence in young singers through high-quality choral music education. Founded in 1995 at Jacksonville University to fill a need for a children’s music program, the chorus has since grown from 16 voices to more than 350 singers participating in five choirs.
FCN Senior Account Executive Kim Rowland says "My daughter was a member of the Treble, Concert and Touring choirs for a total of nine years. In that time, she found her passion and is majoring in music education at UNF now. In addition to getting a great musical education, she learned discipline and traveled the world with the touring choir.
I love that the chorus celebrates diversity and offers opportunities to children who might otherwise not have these opportunities. Over 37% of the chorus members were on some level of scholarship last year. Contributions fund those scholarships."
You can donate to JCC's Giving Tuesday campaign by clicking here.
Jacksonville Humane Society
According to its website, the Jacksonville Humane Society "provides care, comfort and compassion to animals in need while engaging the hearts, hands and minds of our community to bring about an end to the killing of abandoned and orphaned shelter animals."
FCN Anchor Katie Jeffries says "They save so many lives each year and provide great ways for children to connect with animals through summer camps and the Pawsitive Reading Program. Both of my dogs are rescues from JHS! They do amazing work!"
Gifts made for Giving Tuesday by midnight on Nov. 30 will be matched by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and two generous donors up to $75,000. You can donate by clicking here!